"When we are brushing our teeth we are in fact brushing our tooth enamel and ridding our enamel of plaque and products that may cause tooth decay."
Brush your teeth. Don't forget to floss! Oh, and use fluoride! While most of us are aware that our oral health is important for our overall health and to maintain our teeth and gums, there are many dental myths that get tossed around. Here are some of them...
Myth: "I don't eat sweets, so I can't get cavities."
Many of us are guilty of believing in this notion that if you choose to not eat sweets, that you rid yourself of cavities. Well sorry to say that we ALL are subject to cavities whether we eat sweets or not. So if you're choosing to lay off sweets simply for the fear of developing a cavity, feel free to indulge once in a while on your favorite treat!
The real link between sugar and tooth decay is the length of time the sugar is in contact with your teeth. After noshing on your favorite candy bar, drink a glass of water to help flush out some of that sugar that is left behind. Drinking water not only helps to rid your teeth of products that may cause your teeth to decay, but it also produces saliva, which is important in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Myth: "If I brush more often, then my teeth will be healthier."
It is extremely important to maintain your oral health by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque and tarter, while also caring and strengthening your gums. So why shouldn't we brush our teeth after every meal, every snack, and every hour of every day
When we are brushing our teeth we are in fact brushing our tooth enamel and ridding our enamel of plaque and products that may cause tooth decay. Brushing your teeth two to three times a day is sufficient for ridding your mouth of such products, but brushing your teeth more than three times a day is actually harmful for your teeth. Rinse with water instead and perhaps incorporate the use of mouthwash that helps build enamel.
Myth: "I took an aspirin, and my toothache is cured!"
Of course aspirin and pain relievers help to mask your pain, whether it is a headache, muscle pain, or even a toothache. While it masks the pain and provides temporary relief, pain relievers do not cure toothaches. Toothaches can be cured by visiting your dentist to uncover the root of the problem.
Myth: "Kids get cavities more often and have more tooth decay than adults."
No matter your age, everyone's teeth are susceptible to cavities and decay. Sure, kids may be more likely to eat more sweets, skimp on brushing their teeth, or drink sugary sodas and energy drinks, but some adults also may be guilty of these behaviors.
Another reason why adults can develop cavities and tooth decay just as often, if not more often, as children is due to the medications and ailments one may have. Certain prescription medications and ailments cause a person's mouth to produce less saliva. As I mentioned earlier, saliva is important in cleansing our mouths. Also adults with diabetes are more likely to notice gum inflammation, which can lead to periodontal disease.
To make sure you decrease your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay, make sure to maintain a proper oral health regimen and also visit your dentist regularly. This is in fact most important for adults and elderly individuals!
Myth: "I can't brush my teeth because my gums are bleeding."
When you notice that your gums are bleeding it is especially important to maintain a strict schedule of brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing can help build strength in your gums and the lack of or step back from your oral hygiene routine can only make matters worse.
Make sure you choose a toothbrush with soft bristles rather than medium or hard, as these may be harmful to your tooth enamel and disrupt your gums. Gently guide floss between your teeth and around your gum line rather than forcing it between your teeth. If your gums continue to bleed, it may be best to make a visit to your dentist.
Now that I have debunked some of these common dental myths, live a little! Enjoy a candy bar, reacquaint yourself with your dentist, and stop beating yourself up about not brushing after that last snack.
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